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The cryptoporticus of Arles was built during the first century BC as a foundation for the forum at the center of the Roman town. The forum has been replaced by two modern buildings: the Chapel of the Jesuit College and the City Hall. The cryptoporticus consists of three parallel tunnels arranged in a 'U' shape, which are supported by fifty pillars. Stonemasons' marks at the site suggest it was probably the work of Greeks living in Marseille at the time.<br />
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Arles was first inhabited in the seventh century BC as a Phoenician trading center on the Rhone River, and shows signs of Greek influence owing to archaeological evidence and pottery of Greek design. Arles later became a Celtic-Ligurian town in the third century BC and, then in the first century BC, a Gallo-Roman city.<br />
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The Roman-era arena similar to Rome's Coliseum is so well preserved that it is still the major arena of the city and is used for bullfighting and other traditional festivals.